Strength Training – Is it safe for kids?

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Now is a fantastic time to build strength.  Dancers who went to Glasgow are now fully rested from the World Championships and there is plenty of time to train before Nationals!  If you are not dancing at either of these events and are setting your sights on the Oireachtas or just on summer feis season, now is still an opportune time to build some muscle and power in those dancing legs.

In my career as a fitness trainer, I have had many questions and concerns about weight training and whether or not it is safe for kids.  Many believe that kids should only strength train with body weight exercises and/or those that work with “safer” equipment such as therabands.  While therabands are an excellent tool, other forms of resistance such as medicine balls and dumbbells should not be left out of the program.  The following article by the American College of Sports Medicine does a fantastic job explaining not only why strength training is safe for kids, but why it is also extremely beneficial.

The key here is that the focus of youth strength training should always be safety and proper technique.  I believe that this should always be the focus for adults as well.  If not, injury is a very real possibility.  Also, this type of fitness training should always be led by a qualified, trained, and experienced fitness professional.  So find a certified and educated coach and go make some muscle!  The result will be higher lifts, sharper trebles, and a much more powerful performance.

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